Developer, city OK land swap for Newport Shores project

Ansay to trade lakefront land for pavilion site to pave way for new building

THE PORT WASHINGTON Common Council last month approved a land swap that paves the way for construction of Ansay Development’s Newport Shores project on the site of the current Newport Shores restaurant building. Construction of the building, shown from the east in this rendering by project architectural firm Rinka, is expected to begin in spring.
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

The City of Port Washington and Ansay Development have inked an agreement that outlines the terms by which the two entities will swap pieces of lakefront land to accommodate Ansay’s proposed Newport Shores development.

The memorandum approved Dec. 4 is intended not only to formalize the land swap — Ansay will be giving up land along the lakeshore directly east of Newport Shores restaurant while the city will be trading property that houses the fish cleaning station and Kiwanis pavilion south of the restaurant —  but also to set the stage for a formal developer’s agreement.

That agreement will set many of the terms under which the development will be constructed.

“That’s where all the specific language will be,” City Administrator Mark Grams told the Common Council Dec. 4. “This says the city is willing to swap the land according to the terms to be worked out in the developer’s agreement.”

Ansay Development unveiled plans this spring for a modern building with a mix of uses — as many as 30 condominiums, office space, a store, restaurant and rooftop pub — to replace the current Newport Shores restaurant on the Port Washington waterfront.

The L-shaped building, which features a bold, glassy design, would encompass not only the eatery, but also two structures to the west owned by Newport Shores proprietor John Weinrich and a portion of the city-owned property south of the restaurant.

The memorandum approved by aldermen does spell out some terms of the land swap.

Ansay is required, at its cost, to relocate the fish cleaning station to a location approved by the city and Ansay, and to construct a new pavilion similar to the Kiwanis shelter at  a new site.

The developer is also required to erect signage or a monument recognizing the Gilson family, which donated the land involved in the swap to the city, on the land the city will acquire.

The memorandum also states that the swap will occur when Ansay acquires the Newport Shores property, and that if substantial construction does not begin within the time period set in the developer’s agreement, the city can regain ownership of its land.

It also states that, if desired, Ansay Development Corp. can only assign its rights to an entity in which Michael Ansay is a principal.

Ald. John Sigwart noted that Ansay is required to make a substantial investment in city amenities, and asked if the firm has determined how much in tax incremental district funding it would need.

Ian McCain, Ansay’s design/construction manager, who had told aldermen in November the firm would be looking for a pay-as-you-go TIF to help fund the development, said that has not been determined.

“We need direction to get that dollar amount,” McCain said — specifically, a final location for the fish cleaning station and pavilion.

The Harbor Commission has made a “fairly strong” recommendation that the fish cleaning station be moved to an island in the marina parking lot just south of the existing station, Grams said, because it would help relieve traffic issues in the area.

The Harbor Commission on Monday reiterated that stance, even after looking at a recommendation by the Great Lakes Sport Fishermen presented last week that asks that the station be located elsewhere in the marina parking lot.

The Parks and Recreation Board has recommended moving the shelter to South Beach.

Ansay expects to begin construction of the Newport Shores project in late spring with completion in spring 2020, officials have said.

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